Youths tough it out at adventure camp
The successor to the Junior Leaders Corps of the Royal Hong Kong Regiment (The Volunteers) held its first recruitment session at High Island Training Camp.
Known as the Hong Kong Adventure Corps (HKAC), it also will be organised along military lines.
There are squadrons and troops of cadets led by adult instructors.
The aim is to develop character and physical fitness among young people.
The High Island camp, designed for cadets aged 12 to 18, involved drills, hiking, climbing and first-aid.
Youngsters were schooled in leadership, life-saving, sailing and canoeing.
HKAC training officer Tang Sai-pun said: 'It provides discipline and adventure training as well as social service and development of self-reliance, a sense of responsibility, teamwork, personal relationships and leadership skills.
'Personal-growth development is very important. They should learn how to cope with other people.' He recalled that one trainee said she had decided to join the camp after seeing the 'craziness' of a pop idol's fans at a concert.
'She decided to give up that behaviour and behave herself,' Mr Tang said.
'Our programme provides youngsters with the chance to learn useful lessons.' And Form Three student Timothy Chung Wing-lok said joining the programme would help develop his sense of responsibility.
'Though the training is quite harsh, it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience,' he said.
Form Four pupil Simon Lau Wing-hung said his parents had forced him to join the training camp.
'But I have found it quite interesting and, after joining in some of the activities, I have not found it to be too harsh,' he said.
Form Four student Jennifer Chung Choi-wan and third-former Tse Hoi-ki said their parents encouraged them to attend the camp.
'We can really learn from the difficulties we face here that we would not meet in our daily lives,' said Choi-wan.
'We can manage the training programme as well as the boys can.' Trainees also are required to serve the community by organising outdoor activities, helping at public events and selling flags.
These all help to develop their social awareness and sense of community.
Mr Tang said that although some parents were concerned about time commitments and certain outdoor activities, only one trainee had resigned.
For more details on the HKAC, call Mr Tang on 2792 0612.
Cherry is a Young Post summer intern